Published On: October 4, 2022Categories: AT Tips, for Employment, Program Spotlights, Technology Spotlight

A Foot Switch for Ben

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Facing a temporary disability? Stay on the job with assistance from your AT Act Program’s device loan library. #NDEAM

Ben was headed for hand surgery and knew he wouldn’t be able to use his computer mouse during recovery. He contacted the Oregon AT Act Program (Access Technologies, Inc.) looking for an accommodation to stay on the job.

Every state and territory provides loans of assistive technology devices at no or a very low cost to borrowers. Ben wasn’t sure what computer pointing solutions made sense for his situation, so it wasn’t a simple matter of choosing a device online. He needed a way to review the equipment, understand the different features, and consider what to try.

The Oregon AT Act Program began with a device demonstration using remote video conferencing technology. Device demonstrations are ordinarily conducted in person, but the pandemic has expanded remote service options. Some programs ship devices to an individual at home to try with guidance; some programs demonstrate device features remotely or use a blend of these options. In Ben’s case, staff members guided him through the mouse options available in the device loan library.

A wired foot device with three pads for selecting.

Given his work tasks, Ben requested to borrow a programmable foot switch, the Savant Elite2. With this device, each of three foot “pedals” may be assigned different functions, such as Enter, Control, Tab, Backspace, single or double mouse clicks, even Cut, Copy, and Paste. Click force and positions are adjustable. The device is designed to prevent injury from repetitive keyboard or mouse tasks.

Ben turned his short-term loan into an open-ended loan, allowing him to continue using the accommodation during his extended recovery period. When he was ready to return the foot switch, Ben sent an email to the program expressing his gratitude, noting that “the pedal was enormously helpful – I used it in between a series of four surgeries before I was able to use a mouse with my hands again and would not have been able to keep up at work without it.”

Oregon’s device loan inventory contains over 2,000 items that anyone may trial for 30 days at home, work, or school at no charge. Some devices are available for demonstration only. Borrowers pay a one-time $9 maintenance and refurbishment charge, and cover all shipping expenses.

Learn about your state or territory’s device loan program to stay active in your community, productive on the job, or ready to learn at school. Device loans are great for a temporary disability, for trying equipment before deciding what to purchase, or for when your own equipment is out for repair.

Find your State or Territory AT Act Program.

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The AT3 Center, the Association of AT Act Programs (ATAP), and the Administration on Community Living (ACL) make no endorsement, representation, or warranty expressed or implied for any product, device, or information set forth in this blog. The AT3 Center, ATAP, and ACL have not examined, reviewed, or tested any product or device hereto referred.

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